Articles

What Does God Expect of A Christian in Crisis?

.....confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must “through much tribulation” (Crises) enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22 KJV)

Symptoms of The Current Crises

The entire World is now in the beginning stages of many substantial social and economic Crises stemming from multiple causes. Symptoms of these Crises are: steadily increasing unemployment; rapid inflation; rising food & transportation costs; depressed stock market; savings accounts in jeopardy; 8,000 house foreclosures per day; billions of dollars in worthless debt held by banks and investment houses; rapidly falling currency values; and, so on seeming without end - none with “quick fixes.” Not one of these Crises were a surprise to God, nor are any of them above His ability to fully resolve.

The true fact is that the circumstances of these Crises are only symptoms of the underlying immature spiritual conditions of ourselves as a people. Therefore, the resolution of these Crises lies in our paying the price of “denying what self wants,” taking the Word of God into our being - and consistently living in the flow of God’s Word. There are no other resolutions.

The Christian's Role in Crises

As Christians, we should be in the position to lead our nation, and the world at large, through and above these several Crises. But, the sad truth is that most Christians are just as caught up in these Crises as are the non-Christians. So, what do we do? We need to accept the TRUTH that the Bible is the world’s leading authority on economics and social order, and that It contains all of the wisdom, understanding and knowledge that we will ever need to rise above these several Crises.

So, we can start responding to these Crises by simply opening the Bible and asking God: first, impart into us those of His Truths we will need to embrace in our everyday life to properly assess these Crises; and, second, how do we practically apply those Truths in our life to draw close to Him and thereby rise above these Crises. Once we have entered into the rhythm of the scriptures in this regard, we can then begin to reach out and help others, and ourselves out of the Crises.

God’s Expectations of Me, as A Christian, in the Midst of Crisis?

God’s expectations of me as a Christian in the midst of Crises are clearly set forth in Mark 4:37 - 41:
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, cared thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Read the above Scripture several times putting yourself first in the place of Jesus and then in the place of the Disciples. Then ask yourself the question, “How did I respond in the midst of the last several Crisis in my life, and was God pleased with my response to those Crises?

“Jesus’ Focus in The Midst of Crisis
vs.
The Disciples’ Focus in The Midst of the Same Crisis”

Jesus slept in peace in the midst of the Crisis of the storm, but His Disciples . . . feared exceedingly . . . They were so fearful that they said unto Him . . . Master, cared thou not that we perish? And Jesus . . . said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. But, even then, the Disciples still . . . feared exceedingly . . . .

Obviously, the Disciples on the one hand, and Jesus on the other, were worlds apart in how they viewed and responded to the very same Crisis. The Disciples’ viewed the storm as a threat to their lives so they . . . feared exceedingly . . . , while Jesus’ view of the same storm was through the eyes of His relationship with His Father. Jesus spoke to the storm out of the strength of that relationship and . . . said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Even though the Disciples failed in this Crisis, they needed the experience of this Crisis if they ever hoped to find the Mind of Christ for them in the matter of the storm, and so do we.

“Look For The Hand of God in The Midst of All Crises”


. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb 13:5-6)

Now, transfer the above Sea of Galilee Crisis to the realm of our own everyday life in the face of the current economic and other Crises. As Christians, are we . . . feared exceedingly . . . of these Crises, or, are we speaking to these Crises saying . . . Peace, be still . . .? If not, why not?

If we do not have peace of God in the midst of the Crises before us at any given time, then we have left His Presence and are walking in the ways of the World, on our own. How long are we going to continue to question God . . . Master, cared thou not that we perish?

Let’s face the TRUTH; FEAR is our root problem in the midst of all Crises. Why do we fear? The enormity and frequency of difficulties and challenges in our lives should never cause us to fear. We will either trust God in the midst of our several Crises, or we will not - the choice is ours. For us as Christians to doubt God and His promises in the midst of Crises constitutes civil disobedience in the kingdom of God; and, that is often the reason why our prayers in the midst of Crises are sometimes not answered.

“Fear And Doubt Are Incubators of Disobedience”


In the midst of the storm at sea, the Crucifixion and all other Crises that Jesus faced, He refused to allow any doubt and fear to enter into His thinking. Jesus well knew Who He was and Who He represented, but the disciples did not. So, the Disciples were overcome by fear and panicked in the midst of the same Crisis. Jesus used this storm at sea to pave the way for what our lifestyle should be in the midst of all Crises - regardless of what the Crisis may be the time. All the more reason for us to always seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, thereby building into our very being the full meaning of “. . . Peace, be still . . .” in the midst of all Crises.

What Is “. . . Peace, be still . . .” ?


The answer is found in Colossians 3:1-3: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Read the above three verses very slowly and listen to what they say to your soul. Page after page of text cannot better explain Colossians 3:1-3, than does that Scripture itself. In writing this paper, and trying to understand the fullness of Colossians 3:3 for myself, I wrote the following scenario of that Scripture to try and better understand its full meaning:

People who are . . . dead . . . to their own self do not lose their peace, their life is not their own any more; their . . . life is (now) hid with Christ in God. God is The Safe House where . . . Peace, be still . . . is found. What Crises can overcome the peace of God in Whom Christ and I are hidden together? None, and we have Christ’s Promise, . . . I will never leave you or forsake you . . . (Hebrews 13:15). Christ has overcome death, Hell, and the grave and desires to reside with us in God. How can we be more safe in peace than when we are . . . hid with Christ in God ?

How do I make . . . Peace . . . be still . . .” a part of my life? First, I must diligently study the Word of God to discover “My Life Purpose” and then, through the power of God’s Word, I must build into my being “the Resolve” to fulfill my Life Purpose. “Our Life Purpose”

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things and of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Matthew 6:33 sets forth Our Life Purpose . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . . We must come to embrace the fact that Jesus Christ is the kingdom of God and that His righteousness is His Character. If we will only learn to seek Him first, and begin to take on His character, tomorrow will be for us nothing more than another day.

Because God is already in tomorrow, He can well assure us that . . . the morrow shall take thought for the things and of itself. . . , therefore, we are not to take thought for tomorrow. A committed Christian’s life revolves around the immutable truth set forth in Matthew 6:33. Our Life Purpose is why God gave us life in the first place, He desires for us to . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . . above all other things. Seeking Him first, empowered by “Our Resolve” to fulfill “Our Life Purpose,” is the full expression of our reciprocal love for God. “Our Resolve to Fulfill Our Life Purpose”

Our Life Purpose cannot be fulfilled instantaneously; rather, our life journey toward fulfilling Our Life Purpose is dependent upon the degree of our day-to-day “Resolve” to work through the various Crises we encounter. “Resolve” is defined in the Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W. E. Vines, Published by Fleming H. Resell Company Old Tappan, N. J. as “. . . expressing definiteness of the steward’s realization, and his consequent determination of his course of action.” We, the people of God, are his . . . stewards . . . .

God grants to us the option to fail in the area of “Resolve” and thereby abandon Our Life Purpose at any time; but, then He cannot use a boy to do a man’s job. The boy will then have to suffer that pain of defeat and, there is the possibility that time and circumstance will not allow another to fulfill the boy’s Life Purpose. Consequently, others may well forever go lacking.

Strengthening and Maintaining Our Resolve”

The first words in each verse of Psalms 37:1, 3, 4, 5 & 7 set forth precisely how we as Christians can continually strengthen and maintain “the Resolve” we will need to fulfill our “Life Purpose:” Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

We have to understand that each and every one of us were given life by God to . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . . ; and, He gave us Psalms 37 to put feet on . . . Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . .” All else in life are collateral issues. When we have come to the point in our life where we can Fret not about the Crises we face because we will have learned to . . . Trust, Delight, Commit and Rest in the Lord . . . Then we will possess the Resolve needed to . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God and his Righteousness . . in all circumstances in life.

“The Role of Faith in The Life of A Christian In The Midst of Crises”

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Hebrews 11:1 is the definition of the word “faith.” Faith is not just “pie in the sky”, rather, it is; the . . . substance of things hoped for . . . (and) . . . the evidence of things not (yet) seen. We must remember that “Faith” is . . . substance . . . and it is . . . evidence . . . , let me explain. God knows that in the very midst of Crises we will need something to hold onto, and that something is faith. Faith is like a lifesavers’ rope that God tossed towards each and everyone of us 2,000 years ago through Jesus’ life, trial, scourging, death, burial and resurrection. Faith is “A Way of God” in that this “ROPE” uniquely finds its way into the midst of each and every Crisis that we will ever encounter - regardless of how the Crises came to be; and that is about as simple as life gets.

We Need the Patience to Wait For The Lord to Deliver Us In Times of Crisis.

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10:36 KJV)

Hebrews 10:36 is self explanatory. Just read Heb.10:36 over and over, have patience and let this scripture soak into your spirit; and, all the while prepare yourself to . . . receive the promise . .

A Recent Crisis Experience in My Personal Life

I am now in the midst of a personal cash flow Crisis. Donna and I own an office rental property located in a prime area. Why it remains vacant for over a year is a mystery, and we depend in part on that rental for our needed monthly income. Recently I was walking through this property praising God, in faith, for renting the Property. Suddenly, The Holy Spirit drove me prostrate on the floor with my arms outstretched, and said to me as if His Voice was audible, “Do not ever again thank me for renting this building; rather, you are to pray that I will receive GLORY from this building.”

Before I hit the floor I thought I had “a lack of cash Crisis.” But, as only The Holy Spirit can, He clearly told me on the floor that I was more interested in cash flow than I was in using the power of prayer to glorify God. Giving Glory to God is primary, creating cash flow is secondary. Think on this experience the next time you think you need cash, and then act as the Holy Spirit leads.

Summary

The several crises (financial and otherwise) that we face today are not new or surprising to God. Even before time even began, God had already set in place a Plan whereby each of us can, if we will, rise above all of life’s Crises in the very midst thereof.

We must firmly embrace . . . seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . . as Our Life Purpose and make it the core of our being. Then, we have to continually search the Word of God to discover and build into our verysoul the Fret not . . . Trust . . . Delight . . . Commit . . . and . . . Rest . . . needed for us to build “Our Resolve” to fulfill “Our Life Purpose.” And, after we have adopted this lifestyle for a season determined by God, Crises will have come to be just another everyday event in our life, and will no longer have control over our life.

May God Bless you and your family as you travel through the various Crises in life. If we in Insight to Freedom can be of assistance to you at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us. Materials are available at ITF that will definitely assist you in times of Crises to overcome the adversity and enter into a mature walk with God in that area of your life.